Saturday, March 26, 2011

Message from Pastor Bob in Uganda

Dear All, sometimes I get so busy that I trade the significant for the important. It is significant that I communicate to you what is happening here in Uganda so I ask for your forgiveness, grace and mercy. 

Now, for the update: In addition to teaching at Faith Bible College twice a week and working with the military and the government twice a week, I speak to a different church every Sunday and go to four Christian schools each week to pray for the students and encourage the teachers and administration. I am telling you this to let you know how I am using the Lord's time. For the last four days I have been the main speaker at a conference in Jinja, Uganda. This is unusual because I usually share the conference format with Pastor Bill or Pastor Nehemiah. I now have a team of seven that are also able ministers and worship leaders. Most of them have been with me now for almost a year and I consider them true disciples who will be ministering and leading in the revival and transformation of Uganda and East Africa when the Lord calls me home or Home. 

This week we tackled issues such as Love, Unity, Surrender and Obedience, The Father's Love, Marriage (Love and Respect), and the Military Aspects of The Church (The Army of God). There was a wonderful healing of the conference leader's son (Pastor Charles Tiondi's son Gideon) and an unusual testing of what we were learning. On the second day of the conference a pastor came from Northern Uganda and was late because he had been robbed on the way. I had just completed a teaching on love and unity when Pastor Charles told us about the incident. I was surprised that this pastor was so hungry for spiritual growth that he continued to the conference without money or his cell phone. After Pastor Charles told us about the incident he took an offering for the Pastor. When I looked into the offering basket I saw little that represented the love and unity that we had been sharing. This is a dilemma as people tend to have a poverty mentality that says, "I must take care of myself first and then care for my brother." I felt the Spirit was testing us and told the attendees that this was not something that would be a "token" of love and unity but that giving that isn't from the heart and a sacrifice is not real giving. I reminded them of the "Widow and the mites" and asked them to ask the Holy Spirit before deciding what to give as we were going to take another "love" offering. We then prayed and I saw the fruit of the teaching as I looked at the attitudes of the people. As the offering basket was being returned I looked at the contents and saw a good amount of money and two cell phones. We all rejoiced that something different was happening in our midst. The effected pastor was so moved and said that nothing like this had ever happened to him before. The next day we had a mechanical problem with our van and I tried to call Pastor Charles and was unable to make contact. When we did arrive I asked him why he didn't answer his phone. He told me that he didn't have a cell phone and I realized that this man, the head of the thirteen churches of this new association of churches had given his phone to the pastor. What I found truly a wonder was that this man had been robbed and continued on to the conference and that he was now going home with twice as much money as he started with and twice as many phones. I told Pastor Charles that the leader of this conference and association has to have a phone and gave him what I believe the Lord wanted me to give as seed for his new phone. 

On day three I shared the Father's Love teaching from Henry Wright's material and almost every attendee came forward as I asked for anyone who had never been told by their father that they were loved or who had never been embraced by their father to come for prayer. As I shared this Father's Love there was such a beautiful response. Afterward everyone came together for a time of fellowship and one of the pastors shared that he had never been told by his father or mother that he was loved and had never been embraced by either of them (This is not because the Ugandan people do not love their children but because in the culture many believe that they would be "spoiling" their children to act in that manner.) He said that he had now carried on the same habits and now understood that love without action is not love. That children must be shown love by the parents and especially by the father who is a covering for them. He said that he was going to take that message to his family and church. Praise The Lord.

The last day of the conference we watched the movie "Fireproof" and one of our team (Esther) who had seen the movie previously gave a very good cultural flavor as she commented along in Luganeze which is one of the main Ugandan dialects. After the movie many of the pastors commented on how the movie complimented the teaching of the last four days. One pastor said that he had written down seventeen points that effected him from the movie (I asked him for a copy of those points). 

We then had a meal together and sang praises and prayed together as we prepared to return to our various places. Many of these pastors had traveled over a hundred miles by "taxi" to get to this conference. They will spend a great amount of money just to get to the conference. That is why we partner with the conference leaders and pay a share of the conference expenses.  

This was a most rewarding experience and I believe that the Lord is opening doors for this team to share this message of "Good News" in many other places. Thank you for your share of the fruit of the investment and return in this ministry. If you have not previously given to help us continue to be here and continue this work please join us. Contact my wife Carol (319-939-1634)as she and I will be greatly encouraged that you have chosen to partner with us. Yours prayers and support so appreciated. Mwebale nnyo ssebo and nnyabo (thank you very much sir/madam), your brother in Christ, Masumba (pastor) Bob.